Spring into action this April with National Car Care Month! While regular vehicle maintenance is recommended, it’s never a bad idea to ensure that your car is prepped and ready for any situation.

This month, take the time to properly maintain your vehicle so it’s ready to hit the road by following the below simple tasks:

1. Check your vehicle’s motor oil. Quaker State offers a variety of motor oils for different types of vehicles. If you’re looking for the specific make and model of your vehicle, use our motor oil selector. An important part of checking your vehicle’s motor oil is knowing when it may be time for an oil change. To check your vehicle’s motor oil, follow the below steps:

  • Make sure your car is on level area, and the parking brake is on. 
  • Proceed to lift the hood and locate the dipstick, a small colored handle with a motor oil symbol. 
  • Next, you’ll pull the dipstick out of the tube and wipe off the motor oil with a rag and then fully insert it back into the dipstick tube. 
  • Withdraw the dipstick again and look closely at the tip of the dipstick to read your motor oil level: the lower line will indicate if your motor oil level is low, the upper line will indicate that it is full, and anything in between means your vehicle has enough motor oil.
  • If it's low, make sure to add motor oil (using the correct SAE viscosity recommended by your vehicle manufacturer) or bring your vehicle to a local service center to be checked by a professional.

2. Check your tire pressure. For most vehicles, the tire pressure monitoring systems will let you know when your tires need to be checked and are low on pressure, requiring air. If your car does not have a tire pressure monitoring system, it’s important to manually inspect each tire to ensure that you are not driving with low tire pressures. Although this does not need to be a daily occurrence, it may be beneficial to check them once a month. With seasons and weather changing, it may be best to check them more frequently, to reduce the risk of running low on tire pressure and causing uneven tire wear. To check your tire pressure, follow the below steps:

  • Look for the tire pressure placard on the driver’s side of the vehicle. If it is not there, make sure to check the vehicle owner’s manual. 
  • Unscrew the cap on the valve stem of one tire. Make sure to do one tire at a time, before you run the risk of completely losing tire pressure. 
  • Once you’ve opened the valve cap, hold on to the cap while you check the tire pressure. 
  • If your tire gauge matches the correct tire pressure for your vehicle, it does not require air. If it is below that number, your vehicle will require air. Head to your local gas station or service center, they will have an air compressor available to pump air into your tires. 
  • While you are there, look at the tire tread to see if there are a good amount of treads on the tires. If it is bald, have it replaced. 
  • Also, check for nails or road debris that may be stuck on the tire. This may lead to a flat or a blow out while driving. If there is, bring it to a tire shop to have it looked at and repaired.

3. Check your vehicle’s battery. Every vehicle is equipped with a rechargeable battery, used to start the vehicle and keep it running. If temperatures drop significantly in the colder months, car batteries risk losing power and performance. However, no matter the weather, your car battery and alternator should provide enough voltage to start your engine and provide for all electrical needs. Although batteries generally last a few years, it doesn’t hurt to check whether it is working and holds a charge. If your vehicle is running normally and there is no cause for concern, the battery is likely working and does not need to be replaced. The battery itself will have no indication whether or not it is low on power or is working correctly, rather, it is the driver’s responsibility to notice an illuminated battery warning light, or a longer-than-normal engine start time. If your vehicle is taking longer than normal to start, that may be a sign that the battery must be replaced.

4. Pack an emergency roadside kit. Regardless of the distance of any trip you’re taking in your vehicle, make sure to pack an emergency roadside kit. Weather-dependent, your vehicle should be stocked with all the essential items you may need in an emergency.

  • In colder conditions, an emergency roadside kit should include, but is not limited to, a flashlight, roadside flares, jumper cables, first-aid supplies, a blanket, water, an extra battery, and a bottle of motor oil. 
  • In warmer conditions, an emergency roadside kit should include, but is not limited to, a flashlight, portable fan, roadside flares, jumper cables, first-aid supplies, water, an extra battery, and a bottle of motor oil.

If you notice any strange noises, odors, leaks, warning lights or any other concerns while driving, make sure to get it checked out at your local auto service center by a professional that’ll be able to diagnose or repair any problem. To find a service center near you, use our location finder.

Whether you’re looking to schedule an oil change, or picking up a bottle of your favorite Quaker State motor oil to store in an emergency roadside kit, check out our current offers and coupons on all Quaker State products.

Following these simple tips to maintain your vehicle and make sure that it’s in the best condition possible, will make you ready for any type of adventure!